Labelle singer Sarah Dash is dead at 76

By Obiajulu Chiagoziem

Singer and Co-founder of Labelle, Sarah Dash is dead at 76. New Jersey mayor Reed Gusciora confirmed the news on his Facebook page, writing: ‘Our resident legend and Trenton’s very first music ambassador, Sarah Dash, has passed away… Our motto, “Trenton Makes, the World Takes” was alive and well with Sarah.

“What Sarah made was beautiful music refined by a lifetime of experience and numerous contributions to the arts and the community.

“What the world takes is a timeless inspiration of a woman who touched the highest peaks of stardom and never forgot where she came from.”, the statement read.

Tributes have been coming in on social media since her death was announced.

Co founder, Patti sent her tributes, while writing:
“We were just onstage together on Saturday [Sept. 18] and it was such a powerful and special moment.

“Sarah Dash was an awesomely talented, beautiful and loving soul who blessed my life and the lives of so many others in more ways than I can say. I could always count on her to have my back.

“That’s who Sarah was … a loyal friend and a voice for those who didn’t have one. She was a true giver, always serving and sharing her talent and time.”

Patti although “heartbroken” but knew that the singer’s “spirit and all that she has given to the world live on”.

“And I pray that her precious memory brings us peace and comfort. Rest in power my dear sister. I love you always!” she concluded.

Fans and well wishers also took to Twitter to send in their condolences. Bootsy Collins wrote: “Danggit! We lost another, Ms. Sarah Dash (8-18, 1945 – 9 20, 2021) was an American singer & actress. She 1st appeared as a member of Patti LaBelle & The Bluebelles, later in Labelle, worked as a singer, musician & sideman for The Rolling Stones, and Keith Richards. R.I.P WE LOVE!”

Gloria Gaynor penned: “I’m saddened to hear of the passing of my peer and fellow New Jerseyan, @SarahDash. We have lost yet another great talent.

“My heartfelt condolences to her family, friends & fans.”

And Stephanie Mills wrote: “Rest well my friend #SarahDash. Your kind spirit and words will always have a special place in my heart. You will be missed.”

Sarah was born in Trenton, New Jersey, the seventh of 13 children. Her father was a pastor at the Trenton Church of Christ in state of New Jersey and bishop, while her mother was a nurse.

Although she initially sang gospel music, she later turned to secular music as a pre-teen when she formed a vocal duo, the Capris.

Moving to Philadelphia in the mid-1960s Sarah got reacquainted with fellow adopted Philadelphian, Nona Hendryx and Philadelphia natives Patricia “Patsy” Holte (AKA Patti LaBelle) and Sundray Tucker.

Dash first appeared on the music scene as a member of Patti LaBelle & The Bluebelles. She was later a member of Labelle, and worked as a singer, session musician, and sideman for The Rolling Stones, and Keith Richards.